2013 is drawing to a close as we enter the final quarter of the year. There are many photographic events coming up: mainstays like the changing tree colors of autumn, football games, hayrides, bonfires, and the major holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas) are all things that most people plan to photograph each year. However, this year, there are a couple more photographic events that you should add to your calendar.
The first is the Orionid meteor shower. In August, Earth passed through the region of space where meteors were waiting for the Leonid shower. Well, at the end of October, the planet will pass through another meteor-rich area and anyone with a good camera (we recommend the Sony Alpha SLT-A58K) should be able to get some great shots of the meteor shower as well as other notable astronomical features (like the Milky Way, if you’re in the right part of the world. The Aurora Borealis is also a great thing to photograph but you’ve got to be fairly far north to see it).
Another major event is coming up in December. The Comet ISON will pass by the Earth on its way to the edge of the solar system. It should be easily visible with the naked eye from just about everywhere on Earth. The last major comet I can remember seeing myself was the Hale-Bob comet back in the 1990s and that was pretty nice to look at.
There are also a few astronomical events that will never happen but, if they were to happen in a manner that didn’t spell the end for all life on Earth, they’d be pretty cool to photograph. These include the Super Moon, Mars appearing the same size as the Moon (though here’s what it would look like if it did), and Planet X cruising through. Meteor showers and comets, though, are reason enough to invest in a nice camera that can capture them. After all, comets take forever to make their circuit of the Solar System and meteor showers are just awesome no matter how you slice it.
— da Bird